Hay bale safety advice could save lives

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hay bales on truck

Workers can be at risk of serious injury when loading or unloading hay bales from trucks or trailers.

The main risk areas are:

· falling or collapsing hay bales

· stack configuration

· bystander safety

· electrocution from contact with overhead powerlines

· falling from heights.

Falling or collapsing hay bales

Workers and bystanders are exposed to the risk of sustaining fatal or serious injuries if bales fall or collapse while loading or unloading trucks or trailers. Large round or rectangular bales can weigh up to 800 kilograms.

Safety document provides solutions

WorkCover Queensland Customer Services Manager for Agriculture, Kylie Maras, said a safety document had been produced with Workplace Health and Safety to try and reduce the number of hay bale incidents on Queensland farms.

“Hay bale injuries affect numerous people each year. If we can reduce that through improving safety, then it’s going to make a real positive difference for workers, their families, and their employers.

“It’s important to try and get workers home safely each day. The tips in this safety document could make the difference between life and death, or a serious injury,” she said.

“Ultimately, prevention is better, but if an injury occurs, it’s important for both the injured worker and the employer to participate in rehabilitation and return to work activities, to encourage a quick and safe return to work.”

The Safe loading and unloading of hay bales document covers risk areas, examples which cause hay bales to fall, and solutions. It also covers other incidents related to hay bale safety such as:

· bystander safety and solutions

· electrocution examples and solutions

· falling from heights solutions

The Safe loading and unloading of hay bales document is available here.

For more information

For more information on injury prevention, visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au or call the WHS Infoline on 1300 369 915.

For more information on injury management best practice, contact your WorkCover Queensland Relationship Manager, or call 1300 362 128.

Last updated
15 September 2015